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Acceptance Speech

5 July 2024 Acceptance Speech by Executive Mayor, Ald. Andrew Stroebel

Acceptance Speech by Executive Mayor, Ald. Andrew Stroebel

5 July 2024

Good morning Speaker, esteemed Councillors and distinguished guests, the administration, members of the public and the media

As the newly elected Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality, I am honoured to stand before you today and to share my vision for the future of this beautiful Garden Route.

Over the past fifteen (15) years, I have had the privilege of engaging with the people of our region, listening to their hopes, their concerns, and their dreams. It is clear to me that the residents of this district are deeply passionate about their home, and they are ready to work alongside us to build a brighter tomorrow for all who live in it.

This administration and Council’s top priority will be to address the pressing issues that matter most to our citizens. We will focus on enhancing service delivery, improving infrastructure, and fostering sustainable economic development. Through transparent governance and open communication, we will strive to rebuild the trust between the municipality, the community and the seven Local Municipalities.

No single person or organisation is perfect, mistakes could have been made, but we must own them, fix them and learn from them, starting today.

There will be no witch hunt of any employee as long as you have the relevant qualification and skills for your job, have done nothing seriously wrong and you are completely honest, diligent and hard-working. We are paid to be here and to deliver services to a standard that the public expects.

My door will always be open to all employees because I believe that with mutual respect and having a shared vision, we will be able take this municipality to the next level.

I believe in strong financial discipline and that’s why there will be a refocus on the financial sustainability of this municipality, the liquidity, and implementing the District-on-a-diet approach.

Additionally, we will work tirelessly to balance the perfect environment for the private sector to create more job opportunities, particularly in the thriving tourism and agriculture sectors. By supporting local small businesses, attracting strategic investments, and nurturing entrepreneurship, we aim to cultivate a diverse and resilient economy that provides meaningful employment, especially for our youth.

The Roads function and the Regional Waste Management Facility will also be at the forefront of our agenda and it must be championed by the Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) through Council as a top priority.

All MMC’s are selected not by loyalty but by performance and I will reconsider the Mayco each quarter, solely based on performance. The message can’t be clearer: Shape up or ship out.

Disaster Management and Fire & Rescue Services will always be close to my heart. I will strive to be with you on the ground as much as possible because you deliver an excellent service which we must support, as there is nothing more important than saving lives.

Furthermore, we recognise the importance of sustainable environmental practices and the effect of climate change. We will promote the conservation of our natural resources, do our best to enhance waste management systems, and explore renewable energy solutions to reduce our carbon footprint and safeguard the unique beauty of the Garden Route for generations to come.

My fellow citizens, the road ahead may not be an easy one, but I am confident that with team work, and with collective leadership, we can overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie before us. By working hand-in-hand, we will build a future that is prosperous, inclusive, and resilient, a future that we can all be proud to call home.

I’m willing to take hands with this administration and every council member, to work with you, listen to you, and build relationships and trust through love and respect to provide citizens hope for a better tomorrow.

I thank you.